International Hill Climb
The Pikes Peak
International Hill Climb (PPIHC), also known as the The Race to
the Clouds, is an annual automobile and motorcycle
hillclimb to the summit of
Pikes Peak in
Colorado, a distance of 19.99 km (12.42
miles) over 156 turns, climbing 1,439 meters (4,721 ft) from the start
at Mile 7 on Pikes Peak Highway at 2,862 meters (9,390 ft) on grades
averaging 7% over both gravel and paved sections.
The race has taken
place since 1916.
The second oldest race in the United States
behind only the Indy 500.
The first running
of the Pikes Peak Hill Climb was promoted by Spencer Penrose. Penrose
had finished widening the narrow carriage road into a much wider "Pikes
Peak Highway." He decided to encourage tourist to visit by creating a
race to the clouds.
On average there
are 150 competitors. The oldest current class is the Open Wheel division
which has been run since 1916 and has been won by such names as
Bobby Unser, and
Robby Unser (the current class record holder, achieving
10:05.85 min in 1994). The overall record is held by
Nobuhiro "Monster" Tajima from
who clocked a time of 10:01.408 on July 21st 2007 driving the 1000 hp
Suzuki XL7 Hill Climb Special,
breaking the previous record (set in 1994 by
Rod Millen) by less than three seconds. The winning time in
1916 was 20:55.40, set by Rea Lentz.